Punknews.org
Screamers - In A Better World (Cover Artwork)

Screamers

Screamers: In A Better WorldIn A Better World (2000)
Xeroid

Reviewer Rating: 5


Contributed by: BSDBSD
(others by this writer | submit your own)

The Screamers were one of the most popular and visionary of LA bands, but were inevitably forgotten due to a total lack of recorded output while they were together. That doesn't mean they weren't as important as the Germs or the Weirdos, though. Whereas most punk bands rallied against rock standa.
Amazon


The Screamers were one of the most popular and visionary of LA bands, but were inevitably forgotten due to a total lack of recorded output while they were together. That doesn't mean they weren't as important as the Germs or the Weirdos, though.

Whereas most punk bands rallied against rock standards and conventions using standard, conventional rock instrumental setup, the Screamers actually did something that had never been done before. They made noise with 2 synthesizers, a drummer and a howling crazyman for frontman in Tomata du Plenty. Another element that set them apart from the other groups was the rain cloud/sunshine mix of songwriting on behalf of the two leaders, Tomata and Tommy Gear. Tomata wrote the more fun, playful songs in their sets ("Magazine Love", "Vertigo", "I'll Go Steady With Twiggy"), while Tommy created the dark, almost proto-gothic songs ("Eva Braun", "122 Hours of Fear", "Violent World").

That's not to say that these guys were all-gimmick, no rock. Their music created surreal, unsettling landscapes for frontman Tomata to perform on. Think Kraftwerk meets Devo meets the Sex Pistols and you have the closest thing to an easy explination of their sound.

This 2 CD package collects a 4 live sets and a few demos from their first 3 years, making for the closest thing to a complete Screamers collection you're likely find. The liner notes are a collection of arcticles and photos, and mention a follow up to this.

The biggest downset is the live repetes. If you're one for high-quality live sound, you'll be dissapointed, also. I don't mind that, though. They do a really great cover of "Sex Boy", but two versions? A little much. Some songs are even repeated 4 times.

I can see the point in trying to get a complete set in, but it gets a bit grating. To see the better side of things, though, Tomata's crowd interaction is rather entertaining. They don't just shoot into song after song like Black Flag, which is alright.

Overall, for educated people into old punk, this is pretty essential, seeing as how popular these guys were around the time the LA scene was forming.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Faith / Void - Faith/Void/FaithCrass - Stations of the CrassSubhumans - The Day The Country DiedAdolescents - AdolescentsFugazi - End HitsEmbrace - EmbraceThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Saboteur - SaboteurNation Of Ulysses - 13-Point Program To Destroy AmericaO Pioneers!!! - Black Mambas

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (October 10, 2004)

The Screamers "In A Better World" double cd is still available through www.xeroidrecords.com or by contacting me. Also, if you want to order the Screamers disc or any other Xeroid releases for record stores they are distributed by Revolver USA (http://www.midheaven.com/) & Subterranean records (http://www.subterranean.org/). Thanks.

Anonymous (May 24, 2004)

1. Synthpunk.org is worth checking out if you're interested in early DIY electronic punk/dance music. It provides band chronologies, discographies, videographies, photos, interviews, and advertising for not just the Screamers, but also The Units, Nervous Gender, and several other mostly forgotten groups.

2. This 2CD set is a bootleg, authorized by several surviving members of the group. My understanding is that Tommy Gear (the principle songwriter) did NOT give permission for this material to be released. Too bad.

3. The majority of the Screamers studio demos (not including those contained in this set) are still widely available on a 12" vinyl bootleg. The sound quality is only marginally better than the live recordings however. If you're interested in hearing this band (and you should be) you're going to have to deal with the noise.

unconcerned (May 24, 2004)

Great album, BUT i believe it is out of print now?

I have my hand screened copy still... then it came out in the standard jewel casing... then i am pretty sure there was some sort of legal problems and it got pulled after making like 2,000-3,000 copies (not 100% sure though)

if anyone knows... post it

CallingLondon (May 23, 2004)

i'd like to hear this. never heard of them.

Anonymous (May 23, 2004)

where can i get this?

BSD (May 22, 2004)

tape trading time!

TheOneTrueBill (May 22, 2004)

I've seriously been searching for this for about 2 years. I need it.

Anonymous (May 21, 2004)

this band should be adoredn not ignored. Legendary band and a great record. go get it

BSD (May 21, 2004)

I really don't know how to work mp3s at all.

Jesse (May 21, 2004)

mp3s?

BSD (May 21, 2004)

"They made noise with 2 synthesizers, a drummer and a howling crazyman for frontman in Tomata du Plenty."

Or something of the sort, I believe...

And an extra "the"

Anonymous (May 21, 2004)

any band whose link is synthpunk.org needs to be heavily ignored.

BSD (May 21, 2004)

My worst review yet. I wrote this piece of crap in 10 minutes, so if there's any errors, point them out.

Exclusive Streams

Sponsored


Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go